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Persistent gaps and default traps

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  • Catão, Luis A.V.
  • Fostel, Ana
  • Kapur, Sandeep

Abstract

We show how vicious circles in countries' credit histories arise in a model where output persistence is coupled with asymmetric information about output shocks. In such an environment, default signals the borrower's vulnerability to adverse shocks and creates a pessimistic growth outlook. This translates into higher interest spreads and debt servicing costs relative to income, raising the cost of future repayments, thereby creating "default traps". We build a long and broad cross-country dataset to show the existence of a history-dependent "default premium" and of significant effects of output persistence on sovereign creditworthiness, consistent with the model's predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Catão, Luis A.V. & Fostel, Ana & Kapur, Sandeep, 2009. "Persistent gaps and default traps," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 271-284, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:89:y:2009:i:2:p:271-284
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sovereign Debt Serial default Default premium Emerging market bond spreads Asymmetric information Output persistence;

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative

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